Popole Misenga: Rio's refugee judoka

Published 1431 GMT (2231 HKT) August 21, 2017
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Popole Misenga was one of the faces of the Rio 2016 Olympics, as part of the Games' first refugee team. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The Olympics brought Misenga global attention and contact with the likes of IOC president Thomas Bach. Pool/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
Misenga's goal was to win a medal in Rio and he triumphed in his opening bout against India's Avtar Singh. Elsa/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
But he was eventually eliminated by world No. 1 Gwak Dong-han, who knocked him out at the end of the four-minute contest. Elsa/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
Misenga previously competed for Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) but ran away from the country's team base during the 2013 World Championships in Rio. Buda Mendes/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
Yolande Mabika (right) and Misenga at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Three years earlier, Mabika, also a former DRC athlete, helped Misenga escape the team's Rio base. Ker Robertson/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
Orphaned at the age of nine, it was an emotional Olympics for Misenga who had not seen many of his family members for more than a decade. Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
Misenga now has a new family in Rio, living in one of the city's many favelas with his Brazilian partner and their children. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The 25-year-old describes his current existence as "a good life" and has his sights set on the next Olympics in Tokyo. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
In order to achieve his dream he is being trained by Geraldo Bernardes (second from left) in Rio. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images